Brno MotoGP: Casey Stoner apologises to Valentino Rossi

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Reigning world champion Casey Stoner has tried to draw a line under his controversial attack on Valentino Rossi after their classic Laguna Seca scrap last month by apologising to the Italian in Brno today.

Making their first public appearance since Stoner blasted Rossi’s over aggressive riding in Laguna last month, the pair were sat next to each other in this afternoon’s pre-event press conference, and for the first ten minutes made no communication with each other at all.

But as John Hopkins spoke to the world’s media, Stoner leaned over to Rossi to instigate a truce and the pair shook hands.

The factory Ducati rider came in for scathing criticism after his attack on Rossi’s riding in California but the Yamaha star, who goes into Sunday’s race holding a 25-point lead over Stoner, told MCN: “ He said sorry. But sincerely I am not angry with him. I know when you lose that type of battle you are pissed off.

“After the race you are hot with a lot of adrenaline and it is possible to say something that is wrong. Also I have done the same in the past.

“So maybe when he saw another time the race on the TV he understands he made some mistake when he said those things. But I’m ready to do another race like this on Sunday.”

Stoner admitted that on reflection he had overreacted with his post Laguna comments which saw him say he ‘lost a little bit of respect for Valentino.’

“I think it is like all riders we react in the way that we do sometimes. I think even Valentino can agree sometimes like in the past with his comments on Toni (Elias). I think at the time maybe we overreact.

“I have always had the greatest respect for Valentino. I have watched him racing for many, many years and I think it is 12 years since the first time he has won and that is an incredibly long time.

“It would be great if I could be here in another six to eight years and still winning Grand Prix. That would be a privilege for me, “said the 22-year-old.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt